Several protein families participate in the biogenesis and function of small RNAs (sRNAs) in plants. Those with primary roles include Dicer-like (DCL), RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RDR), and Argonaute (AGO) proteins. Protein families such as double-stranded RNA-binding (DRB), SERRATE (SE), and SUPPRESSION OF SILENCING 3 (SGS3) act as partners of DCL or RDR proteins. Here, we present curated annotations and phylogenetic analyses of seven sRNA pathway protein families performed on 196 species in the Viridiplantae (aka green plants) lineage. Our results suggest that the RDR3 proteins emerged earlier than RDR1/2/6. RDR6 is found in filamentous green algae and all land plants, suggesting that the evolution of RDR6 proteins coincides with the evolution of phased small interfering RNAs (siRNAs). We traced the origin of the 24-nt reproductive phased siRNA-associated DCL5 protein back to the American sweet flag (Acorus americanus), the earliest diverged, extant monocot species. Our analyses of AGOs identified multiple duplication events of AGO genes that were lost, retained, or further duplicated in subgroups, indicating that the evolution of AGOs is complex in monocots. The results also refine the evolution of several clades of AGO proteins, such as AGO4, AGO6, AGO17, and AGO18. Analyses of nuclear localization signal sequences andmore »
Arabidopsis apoplastic fluid contains sRNA- and circular RNA–protein complexes that are located outside extracellular vesicles
Abstract Previously, we have shown that apoplastic wash fluid (AWF) purified from Arabidopsis leaves contains small RNAs (sRNAs). To investigate whether these sRNAs are encapsulated inside extracellular vesicles (EVs), we treated EVs isolated from Arabidopsis leaves with the protease trypsin and RNase A, which should degrade RNAs located outside EVs but not those located inside. These analyses revealed that apoplastic RNAs are mostly located outside and are associated with proteins. Further analyses of these extracellular RNAs (exRNAs) revealed that they include both sRNAs and long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), including circular RNAs (circRNAs). We also found that exRNAs are highly enriched in the posttranscriptional modification N6-methyladenine (m6A). Consistent with this, we identified a putative m6A-binding protein in AWF, GLYCINE-RICH RNA-BINDING PROTEIN 7 (GRP7), as well as the sRNA-binding protein ARGONAUTE2 (AGO2). These two proteins coimmunoprecipitated with lncRNAs, including circRNAs. Mutation of GRP7 or AGO2 caused changes in both the sRNA and lncRNA content of AWF, suggesting that these proteins contribute to the secretion and/or stabilization of exRNAs. We propose that exRNAs located outside of EVs mediate host-induced gene silencing, rather than RNA located inside EVs.
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- The Plant Cell
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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Phylogenetic analyses of seven protein families refine the evolution of small RNA pathways in green plants
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